TomTom XXL 540 S review: TomTom XXL 540 S

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.3
  • Cabin tech: 8.0
  • Performance tech: 7.0
  • Design: 7.0

Average User Rating

0.5 stars 2 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The TomTom XXL 540 S has advanced features such as lane guidance and user-updated maps from TomTom Map Share. Its huge 5-inch touch screen is easy to read and to input addresses. Text-to-speech enhances the device's safety.

The Bad With a wide 5-inch screen and a thick EasyPort mount, pocketability goes out of the window. Routing from a moving vehicle is considerably slower than from a stationary one.

The Bottom Line The TomTom XXL 540 S improves on the TomTom XL line by keeping the features we love while improving screen visibility; but the bigger size comes with compromised portability.

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If you're in need of a honking big screen, you may be in luck. The TomTom XXL 540 S takes everything that we liked about the TomTom XL 340 S and the TomTom One 140 S and expands the color touch screen to a massive 5-inch display, which may come in handy if you drive an RV or big truck that requires you mount your GPS device further away from the driver's seat.

Based on TomTom's successful XL series of wide-screen portable navigation devices, the XXL 540 S has an identical feature set, including TomTom Map Share and IQ Routes technologies, as well as advanced lane guidance. As an "S" designated model, the 540 S also features text-to-speech that reads aloud street and point-of-interest (POI) names for quicker recognition.

Design
The 5-inch WQVGA wide-format touch screen occupies the front of the XXL 540 S, while a large, loud 2-inch speaker dominates its back. The only physical control to be found is the power button on the unit's top edge. The Mini-USB port on its bottom edge serves as the connection for the included 12-volt car charger for data connections.

Unlike its primary competitor, the Garmin Nuvi, the XXL 540 S does not have an SD or microSD card slot, so you'll have to make do with the device's 2GB of onboard storage, which is reasonable for map and voice data. All updates are done online via a USB connection.

TomTom's EasyPort mount integrates the XXL's cradle into the back of the unit. To attach the unit to your windshield, simply flip out the suction cup, place the device on the windshield, and twist the locking ring a quarter-turn. With a bit of practice, the TomTom's EasyPort mount becomes quite easy to place and remove from the windshield and offers a bit of flexibility of mounting angles. Our XXL's EasyPort was prone to popping off while adjusting. However, because we haven't had this issue with any of the other EasyPort equipped TomToms that we've previously tested, we're inclined to believe that our particular 540 S's connection was uncharacteristically loose.

The integrated cradle adds considerable bulk to the XXL's already mammoth size, more than doubling its thickness. Users who carry their TomTom in a bag or purse probably won't notice, but if you're planning on pocketing your XXL, you'll probably want to remove the EasyPort mount first or look for a smaller nav device. An additional bonus to the EasyPort mount is that there is no cradle left behind for would-be thieves to mistake for something of value, thus increasing vehicle security.

Also included with the XXL 540 S are a 12-volt car charger, a USB connection cable, and an adhesive disk for attaching the XXL to your vehicle's dashboard if windshield mounting is not permissible.

Features
The TomTom XXL 540 features Advanced Lane Guidance, a new feature to the XL line that shows detailed illustrations of complex freeway interchanges, complete with lane information. Arrows overlaid on the illustration notify drivers of what lanes will keep them on the chosen route.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Features anti-glare
  • Maps Included Canada
    Mexico
    Puerto Rico
    USA
  • Product type GPS receiver
  • Voice navigation instructions
  • Recommended Use automotive